Biodiversity, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Global Warming/Climate Change, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Trees, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor August 9, 2011
Looking for a transitional form of agriculture as we try to wean ourselves off fossil-fuel based farming systems into smaller scaled, localised and sustainable ways of providing for ourselves? Enter, alleycropping — the practice of planting rows of trees (ideally on contour) through fields to create alleys, or corridors, of alternating trees and ground crops.Comments (3)
Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Structure — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor
I like this lady!
Deforestation, Food Forests, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 31, 2011
Here’s some great weekend inspiration to encourage you into a more productive new week. I think you’ll enjoy this one.
Duration: 9 mins
Biodiversity, Community Projects, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Terraces, Village Development, Water Contaminaton & Loss — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 26, 2011
Many of you will remember the inspiring and encouraging example of earth restoration found in the story of the Loess Plateau in China (see links at bottom). John Liu was the man heavily involved in this amazing and very large scale initiative. In this new video, below, you’ll see Mr. Liu turning his eyes toward Africa, where Rwanda is now the focus of an earnest bid to restore its degraded forests and farmland, whilst simultaneously improving the lives of the communities they host. You’ll see many excellent examples of holistic thinking in this short documentary.
You’ll also learn of the praiseworthy work of Dr. Rene Haller, whose observational skills are highly adept at tailoring biological solutions towards rehabilitating the most degraded of lands.
Rwanda – Forests of Hope
Duration: 26 minutes
Compost, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 20, 2011
Soil and compost wizard, Paul Taylor, takes us through the process of building a compost pile.Comments (3)
Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Irrigation, Land, Rehabilitation, Water Harvesting — by Tamera July 19, 2011
by Tamera, Portugal
The Tamera water landscape is a model and an educational project for natural water management and the renaturation of damaged landscapes all over the world and a basis for forestation, horticulture and agriculture in regions threatened by desertification. It is a globally adaptable model which can be applied in all regions in various appropriate forms.
Southern Portugal is threatened by rapid desertification. Forest fires, summer droughts and the loss of biodiversity are symptoms of a widespread loss of valuable land. The vegetation is threatened. Cork oaks and pine trees die in large numbers because the soil, leeched by excessive grazing and poor agricultural practices has lost its capacity to retain water. Erosion washes away fertile soil and what’s left dries up. Simultaneously there is flooding and water damage due to strong winter rainfalls every spring. Desertification and flooding are symptoms of one problem: incorrect water management caused by industrial agriculture, over-grazing, monoculture forestry and deforestation. Portugal´s average rainfall is similar to that of central Europe — yet the desert seems to grow right before our eyes.Comments (1)
Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Structure — by Nicollas Mauro July 14, 2011
Observation is a key element of permaculture design, and plants can help us to understand the landscape under our feet.
Indicator plants are plants that grow in such a density that their success in out-competing other plants can tell us a lot about the soil and microclimate they grow in. Several means can be used to link a plant with a bio-indication: primary ecological range, ecological niche, characteristics (physical , chemical, etc.).Comments (9)
Conservation, DVDs/Books, Dams, Earth Banks, Gabions, Irrigation, Land, Limonia, Material, Natural Swimming, Potable Water, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Roads, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Storm Water, Surveying, Swales, Terraces, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting — by Owen Hablutzel
The volume reviewed below comes highly recommended for all Permaculturists working in or around any water channels, and particularly on the broad-acre. While the methods happen to apply most immediately in drylands, they will apply directly anywhere that erosion, down-cutting, rapid gully formation, and other forms of channel incision occur. Keep in mind that these techniques will also apply in ephemeral channels that only carry water during rare rain storms, and are otherwise ‘dry.’
Importantly, even if you are working more within mesic environments and do not see a lot of actively incising channels, just the knowledge you will gain about stream dynamics and working with various stream powers and flood-regimes will be applicable and invaluable to your work. These factors, such as the ‘bankfull’ flood, and the specific inter-relations and ratios of multiple stream variables remain the same as basic physics of water flow no matter what the environment. These physics will dictate exactly where and where not to place any kind of built structure within an active water channel, and enable you to predict results of your efforts with much greater precision. How many of us doing this kind of work have lost stream structures to a “gully-washer”? The knowledge and approach in this book could have saved many a headache, cash outlay, and enabled construction of more durable, persistent, and ultimately useful work.
Aid Projects, Community Projects, Conservation, Dams, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Food Shortages, GMOs, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Conservation, Swales, Terraces, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor July 7, 2011
I’m adding the following clips as a positive supplement to the preceding post. I think it’s important to see that positive work is happening, and that GMOs are not only not needed, but they are a definite threat to these excellent efforts. Permaculturists working, or intending to work, in Kenya could potentially find ways to network with organisations like these, and to offer extra design tools to further strengthen their efforts.
The first video is from the Grow Biointensive Agricultural Center of Kenya (G-BIACK), who look to be doing some great on-the-ground work to educate and transform Kenyan communities and help them return to more resilient, affordable and healthy agricultural and community systems.
This second clip, from The Haller Foundation, will be especially appreciated by permaculturists — it’s a fantastic video show-casing some excellent permaculture action, also in Kenya:Comments (4)
Conservation, Consumerism, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation — by Mari Korhonen June 29, 2011
I’ve been exploring the world of edible weeds, and so found a new layer of bounty in the garden!
Edible weeds from left to right: Fireweed shoots, young galeopsis,
lamb’s quarter, chickweed, thistle shoots peeled, and corn spurry.
Things in the garden even way up here in Finland are well on their way now, including many plants that most gardeners would condemn as weeds, or things to get rid of. For me a bed full of weeds has become a salad bar, and weeding has gotten a fresh new perspective to it!Comments (2)
Compost, Courses/Workshops, Fungi, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Structure — by Steve Grace June 25, 2011
One of the major global concerns we face today is the heavily depleted state and continued degeneration of our soil. Without healthy soil, we cannot produce healthy food and however obvious it might seem, the food that we eat directly affects the nature of our being. It’s funny how the most common sense is no longer at all common.
In 1907, Theodore Roosevelt said: "the nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself". Since that time we have had a salivating appetite for destruction. At present 90% of Australian soil is considered to be of poor quality….
In order to appreciate the significance of this statistic, it is important that we understand the society of microorganisms that exist beneath our feet. In one tablespoon of healthy soil there lives a population of microbes that is greater than the population of human beings on earth – over 6.9 billion microorganisms, working together to make available nutrients to the soil in which we produce the food that enables us to survive. If only the human population of the world was as resourceful and harmonious as our micro acquaintances.Comments (13)
Conservation, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Conservation, Storm Water, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting — by Stephanie Ladwig-Cooper June 16, 2011
A detailed account of the transition from a sparse and chemical dependent landscape to an ecologically diverse and resource efficient garden.
Our rural 1/3 acre of land in Northern California has been our home and office as well as a continual experiment in ecological land care and permaculture for over 6 years. Our decision to relocate to the ‘city’ this month has us pondering just how much we’ve improved this particular piece of land in the short amount of time we’ve been here… so I decided to take a journey back in time.
Unbeknown to us in 2005, we moved into a chemical dependent neighborhood; neighbors who rely on pest control companies, Round Up and weed/feed for regular property maintenance. Within our own property we found enamel paint had been washed out on the back lawn and evidence of recent herbicide and pesticide spraying around our new house (pest company sticker in the garage with the date of application). Having gardened ecologically for a long time, we have learned a lot about how to make the transition from a chemical dependent landscape to an organic and biologically based one, and how to do it with little time and effort.Comments (6)
Animal Forage, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Fungi, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Structure, Trees — by Campbell Wilson June 15, 2011
Pasture cropped & time control grazed
Traditional Crop and set stock grazed
When you are trying to decide which method of soil improvement to take, sometimes it seems like there are as many different approaches as there are bacteria in a teaspoon of healthy soil.
This isn’t necessarily a huge problem when you’re talking about a suburban backyard scale. It’s easy in that situation to: do some aerating with a broad fork; balance the Calcium:Magnesium ratio and whatever trace minerals your soil test says are missing; build and add compost and worm castings; brew up some compost tea; add some seaweed extract, a handful of basalt rock dust, a bit of Charlie carp and the humified eyeballs of some rare mountain lion to top it off.
But what about the farmer who is planting 1000 Ha of Wheat and Rye so the armchair permaculturalists of this world can munch their organic sourdough toast while checking the next important forum posting written by someone else sitting at a computer at 10.30am. That farmer would quickly go broke if they did all the things a backyard gardener can do. So how to decide?Comments (22)
Animal Forage, Food Forests, Land, Plant Systems, Rehabilitation, Swales — by Nichole Ross June 14, 2011
Chop-N-Drop is a Permaculture term used to describe a simple, yet highly-efficient system of creating mulch. Plants that make good mulch are pruned frequently and the cuttings are dropped directly on the ground below. This creates a beneficial layer of organic material that helps conserve water, reduce weeds and create food for nearby plants through decomposition.Comments (1)
Biodiversity, Conservation, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Fungi, Land, Plant Systems, Regional Water Cycle, Rehabilitation, Society, Trees — by Craig Mackintosh PRI Editor June 8, 2011
Yesterday we were talking about the great need to transition our agriculture (and our culture for that matter) to be based in systems (or integrated) thinking, rather than the segregated, reductionist monoculture mind set we have today. There’s perhaps no better example of systems-based thinking in practice than a well developed biodiverse ‘forest garden’ (or what is called a food forest in many places). Along with our own Geoff Lawton, Martin Crawford of the UK’s Agroforestry Research Trust is one of the world’s best recognised practitioners of the art. The following video gives us a peek at his work.